The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas explained why it had to deny William Navarro’s request for a Letter of Clearance (LOC) to complete his transfer to Samsung Seoul.
In a statement by SBP executive director Sonny Barrios, he explained that they could not grant the request of Navarro for a letter of clearance (LOC) to complete his transfer to Korean Basketball League team Samsung Seoul as he is still under contract as a full-time Gilas player.
Moreover, being the second overall pick in the 2021 PBA Rookie Draft’s Gilas round, the only team Navarro can join is Northport.
“Recently, the Korea Basketball Association (KBA) requested FIBA for a Letter of Clearance (LOC) for William Raniel Navarro to play for the Samsung Thunders in Korea. However, Mr. Navarro has an existing contract to first, play for the national team, attend activities, practices, social and business functions and secondly, with his undeniable agreement, be assigned to only and no other team or ballclub than his PBA drafting team, Northport,” explained the statement.
After carefully reviewing the positions of the KBA and the SBP, FIBA issued its decision on September 12, 2022 not to allow Mr. Navarro to join Samsung Thunders. FIBA upheld that he still has an existing, legally binding contract preventing him from doing so.”
An LOC is granted to players transferring from one country to another, making sure that they are “free agents.”
It was also made clear that Navarro was getting paid on a monthly basis by the federation until March 31, 2023.
Prior to the FIBA Asia Cup, the Thunders announced that it has signed Navarro.
The SBP would have easily granted Navarro his LOC had there been no bond between him and the federation.
“The SBP respects players’ rights to look for greener pastures. But players also need to respect agreements they have entered into with their teams,” read the statement.
The SBP does not intend to unduly prevent players from furthering their careers with other teams here or overseas. But it is a fundamental and ethical practice for players to honor their existing contracts with their mother teams.